Get To Know U.S. Women’s Basketball Before Olympic Final

Get To Know U.S. Women’s Basketball Before Olympic Final

After the U.S. Women’s Basketball team swept the preliminary round, they have been dominant through two games to reach the Gold medal game. And, it is time for you to know about the players representing Team U.S.A. at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Team U.S.A. is one win away from their 55th straight Olympic victory and seventh straight Olympic Gold. The Gold Medal would solidify them as only the second team to win seven straight Olympic Golds, matching the U.S. Men from 1936 to 1968.

In the Olympic Final, the U.S. awaits Japan, the home country, in their first Gold medal game. Japan was second through the preliminary round in Group B with a 2-1 record. While the United States was first after winning all three games, including an 86-69 victory over Japan.

The Road to Gold

For starters, they beat Nigeria out of the gate 81-72 before taking down Japan. Then in the third prelim game, they faced their toughest challenge: France.

The French team played with the defensive pressure of Nigeria and brought the level of shooting that Japan displayed. Plus, France had better athletes to throw at the supreme U.S. players. But Team U.S.A. prevailed by putting them away late in their 93-82 win.

Each game, the U.S. figured themselves out to reach their best version. By the time the actual tournament began, the U.S. was rolling on all cylinders.

In the quarterfinal, they crushed Australia 79-55 and followed that up with 79-59 drubbing of Siberia in the semifinal. The U.S. Women’s Basketball team averaged 79 and only gave up an average of 57.

Against Australia, they made 28 baskets. Out of those 28, 24(!!!) were assisted. And defensively, Team U.S.A. held Australia to 30% shooting with 21 turnovers. In a game where they totally outmatched Siberia, they assisted on 14 of their 23 makes. They worked as a team on defense as well, allowing 30.3% shooting and 4/19 from beyond the arc.

The Perfect Team for the Dynasty of All Dynasties

That brings us to the Gold Medal game. A game so historic, it is time to learn about the roster of this dominant U.S. Women’s National Team.

A roster that features seven WNBA first overall picks and five WNBA MVPs. They have six returning Olympic Gold medalists and six first-time Olympians. The combination of young talent and WNBA legends as well as dominant bigs and guards is astounding. This group is in an incredible position to win the U.S. Women’s Basketball team their seventh straight Olympic Gold.

Let’s read up on this iteration of the dynasty of Team U.S.A.:

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U.S. Women’s Basketball Team Starting Lineup

Sue Bird

  • 5th Olympics, 4 Golds: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, (2021?)
  • 1st Overall to Seattle 2002 WNBA Draft
  • 18th season with the Seattle Storm
  • 4X WNBA champion
  • 12X WNBA All-Star
  • 5X All-WNBA First Team
  • 3X All-WNBA Second Team
  • 3X WNBA assists leader
  • WNBA All-Time assists leader
  • 5X Russian League champ
  • 5X EuroLeague champ
  • 2X Europe SuperCup champ
  • 2X NCAA champ
  • University of Connecticut graduate

Bird is #6 and plays guard at the height of 5’9″. The ultimate floor general and a knock-down shooter from everywhere who just wins. She has a good mid-range and 3-pt shot; Bird finishes in the paint and can play in the pick and roll. She controls the game, is a feisty defender for her size, and hits shots when it matters most.

Diana Taurasi

  • 5th Olympics, 4 Golds: 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, (2021?)
  • 1st Overall to Phoenix 2004 WNBA Draft
  • 17th season with the Phoenix Mercury
  • 3X WNBA champ, 2X WNBA Finals MVP
  • WNBA MVP
  • 10X WNBA All-Star
  • 10X All-WNBA First Team
  • 4X All-WNBA Second Team
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • 5X WNBA scoring champ
  • WNBA assists leader
  • WNBA All-Time leading scorer
  • 4X USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year
  • 6X Euroleague champ
  • 7X Russian National League champ
  • 3X Russian Cup winner
  • Turkish National League champ
  • Turkish Cup winner
  • 3X NCAA champ
  • University of Connecticut graduate

Taurasi is #12 and plays guard at the height of 6’0″. A Phenomenal shooter and an all-around guard who is just a winner as well. She is a killer in the Klutch and makes all of the flashy plays and passes. She is also battling injuries but is all in for her fifth Olympic Gold.

Breanna Stewart

  • 2nd Olympics, 1 Gold: 2016, (2021?)
  • 1st Overall to Seattle 2016 WNBA Draft
  • 5th season with the Seattle Storm
  • 2X WNBA champ, 2X WNBA Finals MVP
  • WNBA MVP
  • 3X WNBA All-Star
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • WNBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 2X All-WNBA First Team
  • All-WNBA Second Team
  • 2X WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • 4X NCAA champ
  • FIBA World Cup MVP
  • Euroleague champ
  • EuroLeague MVP
  • Russion Women’s Basketball Premier League champ
  • 3X USA Basketball Athlete of the Year
  • University of Connecticut graduate

Stewart is #10 and plays forward at the height of 6’4″. A tall and versatile player with a high basketball IQ who has guard skills in a bigs body. A great shooter, rebounder, and playmaker who is very fundamentally sound on both ends and wins at every level.

A’ja Wilson

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 1st Overall to Las Vegas 2018 WNBA Draft
  • 4th season with the Las Vegas Aces
  • WNBA MVP
  • 3X WNBA All-Star
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • WNBA blocks leader
  • NCAA champ
  • University of South Carolina graduate

Wilson is #9 and plays forward at the height of 6’4″. A dominant big and versatile defender who can guard a lot of positions with a high basketball IQ. She has a very good post-game, mid-range shot, and is a good rebounder. She has a solid feel for the game and is good at all of the little things.

Brittney Griner

  • 2nd Olympics, 1 Gold: 2016, (2021?)
  • 1st Overall to Phoenix 2013 WNBA Draft
  • 9th season with the Phoenix Mercury
  • WNBA champ
  • 7X WNBA All-Star
  • 2X WNBA scoring champ
  • 7X WNBA blocks leader
  • 2X All-WNBA First Team
  • 3X All-WNBA Second Team
  • 2X WNBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • 3X WNBA All-Defensive First Team
  • 3X WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • WNBA All-Rookie Team
  • 3X Russian National League champ
  • 2X EuroLeague champ
  • Russian Cup winner
  • NCAA champ
  • Baylor University graduate

Griner is #15 and plays center at the height of 6″9″. A dominant presence down low on offense and defense. She has great post moves, a solid jump shot, and knows when to pass and pass well. Defensively, she is very impactful and blocks or affects a lot of shots in the paint.

Bench of the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team

Jewell Loyd

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 1st Overall to Seattle 2015 WNBA Draft
  • 7th season with the Seattle Storm
  • 2X WNBA champ
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • 3X WNBA All-Star
  • All-WNBA Second Team
  • Attended the University of Notre Dame

Loyd is #4 and plays guard at the height of 5’10”. A dynamic athlete who is skilled all over the court. She can finish off the drive in the paint, in mid-range and from 3, and both off-the-dribble and off-the-catch. She is a great defender with quick hands and quick feet and is a really good scorer.

Tina Charles

  • 3rd Olympics, 2 Golds: 2012, 2016, (2021?)
  • 1st Overall to Connecticut 2010 WNBA Draft
  • 11th WNBA season; 4 with the Conncecticut Sun; 6 with the New York Liberty; 1st with the Washington Mystics
  • WNBA MVP
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • 8X WNBA All-Star
  • 5X All-WNBA First Team
  • 3X All-WNBA Second Team
  • 2X WNBA All-Defensive First Team
  • 2X WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • 4X WNBA rebounding champ
  • WNBA scoring champ
  • 2X Turkish Cup winner
  • Turkish President Cup winner
  • Polish National League champ
  • Polish Cup winner
  • 2X NCAA champ
  • University of Connecticut graduate

Charles is #14 and plays center at the height of 6’4″. A dominant big down low with great touch from mid-range to inside who has recently developed a dependable 3-pt shot. She is a bruising big that impacts the paint on both ends who can stretch out a defense and score a lot of points. Her 26.3 PPG this season would be the most ever in a season in WNBA history.

Chelsea Gray

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 11th Overall to Connecticut 2014 WNBA Draft
  • 7th WNBA season; 1 with the Conncecticut Sun; 5 with the Los Angeles Sparks, 1st with the Las Vegas Aces
  • WNBA champ
  • 4X WNBA All-Star
  • All-WNBA First Team
  • All-WNBA Second Team
  • Spanish National League champ
  • Turkish Women’s Basketball Cup champion
  • Duke University graduate

Gray is #8 and plays guard at the height of 5’11”. A bigger guard with great vision and a good feel who uses that size to her advantage over smaller guards. She is able to see over the defense and is a phenomenal passer. She has a good mid-range shot but is a better finisher inside with great passing and solid defense.

Sylvia Fowles

  • 4th Olympics, 3 Golds: 2008, 2012, 2016, (2021?)
  • 2nd Overall to Chicago 2008 WNBA Draft
  • 14th WNBA season; 7 with the Chicago Sky; 7 with the Minnesota Lynx
  • 2X WNBA champ, 2X WNBA Finals MVP
  • WNBA MVP
  • 7X WNBA All-Star
  • 3X All-WNBA First Team
  • 3X All-WNBA Second Team
  • 6X WNBA All-Defensive First Team
  • WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • 3X WNBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • 2X WNBA blocks leader
  • 2X WNBA rebound champ
  • WNBA All-Rookie Team
  • 2X WCBA champ
  • 3X Turkish Cup winner
  • 2X Europe SuperCup winner
  • 2X EuroLeague champ
  • Louisiana State University graduate

Fowles is #13 and plays center at the height of 6’6″. A prolific defender that anchors a defense that can finish inside and sets solid screens. She blocks shots on defense and finishes at a high percentage on the offensive end and is a great rebounder, nearly averaging a career double-double.

Skylar Diggins-Smith

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 3rd Overall to Tulsa 2013 WNBA Draft
  • 8th WNBA season; 3 with the Tulsa Shock; 3 with the Dallas Wings; 2 with the Phoenix Mercury
  • 5X WNBA All-Star
  • 2X All-WNBA First Team
  • 2X All-WNBA Second Team
  • WNBA Most Improved Player
  • WNBA All-Rookie Team
  • University of Notre Dame graduate

Diggins-Smith is #5 and plays guard at the height of 5’9″. A fast guard who can both pass and score at a high rate. She can shoot from everywhere, inside, mid-range, 3-pt, and at the free-throw line. She is a good passer as well and just a good offensive player.

Ariel Atkins

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 7th Overall to Washington 2018 WNBA Draft
  • 4th season with the Washington Mystics
  • WNBA champ
  • WNBA All-Star
  • 3X WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • WNBA All-Rookie Team
  • University of Texas graduate

Atkins is #7 and plays guard at the height of 5’8″. A solid guard who plays great defense and shoots the ball at a pretty good clip. She is a good scorer from inside, in the mid-range, and from 3 as well as the free-throw line. She is a lockup defender and up-and-coming young guard.

Napheesa Collier

  • 1st Olympics: 2021
  • 6th Overall to Minnesota 2019 WNBA Draft
  • 3rd season with the Minnesota Lynx
  • WNBA Rookie of the Year
  • WNBA All-Rookie Team
  • All-WNBA Second Team
  • 2X WNBA All-Star
  • WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • NCAA champ
  • University of Connecticut graduate

Collier is #11 and plays forward at the height of 6’1″. A lengthy forward with the physical tools to be a dominant player. She is a good scorer from all over the court and rebounds the ball very well. With playmaking alongside her offensive skill set and defensive tools, she would go from a very good player to a great one.

This team of WNBA All-Stars and future Hall-of-Famers is destined for Gold. Check them out in the Women’s Basketball Olympic Gold medal game vs. Japan on NBC, Saturday at 10:30! History will be made.

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Andrew Willett

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